Creators are no longer simply a source of product information that consumers utilize to make purchasing decisions. According to a new report from UTA Marketing, “Creators & The New Frontier of Consumer Engagement,” direct-to-fan marketing is on the rise, presenting a new opportunity for brands and creators alike.
The findings show that 40 percent of 1,000 US consumers ages 13 to 54, or about 64 million people, have paid creators directly through virtual meet-and-greets, video shout-outs and fan clubs. Sixty-three percent of participants pay for content from multiple creators, with musicians and gamers the top two types of talent they support.
Interestingly, 76 percent of consumers find paid content more engaging and enticing and another 59 percent are more likely to talk about it in person and/or online. Just shy of half (49 percent) of consumers who have paid creators are spending at least $25 a month, according to UTA.
When UTA asked respondents their top reasons for directly paying creators, 71 percent cited exclusivity, 69 percent inspiration, 66 percent access and 51 percent community.
UTA also found that 72 percent of consumers who directly pay creators are Gen Z and millennials ages 13 to 40, with an even split across gender—51 percent male and 48 percent female.
The direct-to-fan experience provides brands an opportunity to partner with talent on exclusive content, special merchandise or unique experiences. Not only are 95 percent of consumers open to brands participating in the creator economy, 61 percent of US consumers who aren’t already directly paying creators said they’re interested in doing so. Based on UTA’s research, this translates to 104 million consumers—a 160 percent increase from current supporters.
In addition, 58 percent of those who are interested in directly paying creators are willing to spend at least $25 a month directly on creators, up from 49 percent who spend at least this much currently. According to UTA, this equates to a 184 percent surge in revenue from the current market size of $10 billion to a projected market of at least $18 billion.
UTA Marketing’s findings are based on a survey conducted among more than 1,000 US adults ages 13-54 from September 17-21, 2021.